Judge orders conclusion of mediation in Oread hotel lawsuit

The Oread Hotel, 1200 Oread Ave.

Mediation in the lawsuit filed by the City of Lawrence against developers of The Oread hotel will conclude within the next month.

The judge in the case ordered Wednesday that mediation be completed no later than April 27 and set a status conference for the following day.

Parties in the case have undergone two court-ordered mediation sessions, but attorneys for both the city and the hotel did not provide further comment to the Journal-World as to how the most recent session went.

The city filed a lawsuit in November alleging that Oread hotel developer Thomas Fritzel engaged in a fraudulent scheme to generate undue tax rebates from the city. The lawsuit alleges that Fritzel used other companies he controlled to improperly record retail sales at the hotel for the purpose of collecting additional rebates.

If a final agreement were reached via mediation, it would be subject to approval by the City Commission in a public meeting. If the parties aren’t able to resolve the lawsuit via mediation by the ordered date, the litigation will go forward.